Countryfile Exposure For Scilly Brings Surge in Online Activity

Director Dean Jones with Countryfile presenter, Ellie Harrison

Director Dean Jones with Countryfile presenter, Ellie Harrison

Over six million viewers watched BBC1’s Easter Sunday Countryfile episode featuring the Isles of Scilly.

And publicity from the popular programme is already benefitting some islands’ businesses.

Unlike previous years when primetime TV exposure brought phone calls, most of the activity now appears to be online. Julian Pearce from the Council’s Economic Development Team says that the TIC didn’t record an increase in email or phone calls. Most interested viewers have gone to the website.

Amanda Pender from the Islands’ Partnership says visits to the Simply Scilly website had 5,000 hits in the 24 hours after the broadcast. The average per day is between 1,200 and 1,400.

Sharon Sandercock of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has echoed that. She says their website viewing spiked with around 3,500 hits between 7pm and 8pm, when Countryfile aired.

Sharon also reported increased activity on their Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Sabine Schraudolph of the IOS Country Guesthouse said her online bookings were up 20% on the previous weekend, while Daniel Lawson of the Bell Rock Hotel reports increased enquiries without anyone specifically mentioning the show.

Some of the businesses featured have all reported extra enquiries.

Sam Hicks of Troytown Farm says he’s had calls and Kris Taylor says she’s had an upturn in orders for her Bryher-made fudge after it was featured on the programme.

Kris says within minutes of the programme ending, the orders were “flying in” and she spent the whole of Monday making fudge to fulfil the demand.

Kris also says islanders need to accept that most business now seems to be conducted on the internet and people need to respond to that with good websites and online booking facilities.

Julian Pearce says the programme has provided an additional talking point for people on holiday here.

He says the coverage seems to re-affirms their choice of the islands as a destination, increasing their enjoyment as being “part of the island experience” and hopefully giving them more reason to return again.